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Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Page: 95

Ms O'DWYER (HigginsMinister for Revenue and Financial Services) (12:14): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This bill will increase the rate of excise equivalent customs duties on tobacco by way of four annual increases of 12.5 per cent a year. The first of these changes will occur on 1 September 2017.

The government is committed to improving health outcomes for all Australians and in particular to combating the health implications of smoking.

Recent research has shown that up to 1.8 million people, around two-thirds of Australia's smokers, will die from smoking related causes if they continue to smoke.

One of the most effective ways to reduce the rate of smoking is a program of education combined with an increase in the price of cigarettes. Increases in tobacco excise over the last two decades have contributed to significant declines in the number of people smoking daily.

This bill supports the government's efforts to decrease tobacco consumption and limit the uptake of smoking.

Full details of the measure are contained in the explanatory memorandum.

Debate adjourned.